Philip Barnes

National Committee: 
NC Member

I am a Yorkshireman and European, brought up in and around the mining villages of South Yorkshire. I now live in North Devon. After studying a science degree, I subsequently joined British Coal and worked in the coal mining industry for 8 years. As the mines closed, I left and joined an engineering company as Operations Director. After 7 years and in my late 30’s, I decided to leave behind my science and engineering and went to study art. After a Foundation course and a Fine Art Degree, I completed my MA in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in 2002. I have exhibited conceptual work and paintings in group and solo shows in the UK and overseas and have been involved in many ventures outside art. Since 2014, I have been able to refocus on making art and painting is now my dominant media although I still make and show works in other media alongside the paintings.

Freud divided the mind into the conscious mind (ego) and the unconscious mind (id & super ego). Freud describes how we experience this unconscious mind through: dreams, slips of the tongue (Freudian slips), jokes, intuition and enigmatic thoughts which burst upon us unbidden and uncontrollably. The unconscious can be immensely creative or powerfully destructive, a source of guidance as well as subversion, and it can be awe inspiring or very disturbing. My process has developed in response to my unconscious mind. I do very little initial planning other than to choose a head or a figure as a start point. As I paint, I experiences enigmatic thoughts and Freudian slips occur, sometimes these might be in response to what I have read or seen or just the way I am feeling at the time. Through painting, I try to make these visible to myself. Sometimes a resolution readily appears and in other cases it takes a long time before the story of the painting becomes clearer to me. I want the viewer to bring their own unconscious mind to the work and for them to resolve the story as they see it. There is no one universal interpretation and I love to hear what viewers thinks.

My work is eclectic, vibrant and dynamic and can be enjoyed visually and mentally.

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